Authors: Mark Dubowitz and Ray Takeyh Foreign Affairs
The Donald J. Trump administration would be correct to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh with Mark Dubowitz. Terrorism has been a defining feature of the IRGC since its inception in 1979, and the power of the IRGC needs to be curbed before the Islamic Republic can be tamed.
Kimberly Marten outlines how U.S. policymakers can deter Russian aggression with robust support for NATO, while reassuring Russia of NATO’s defensive intentions through clear words and actions based in international law.
Western analysts and observers have missed Russia’s strategic restructuring in the Middle East, argues CFR’s Steven A. Cook. They have taken steps in Syria, Egypt, and Libya in a bid to upend an American-led regional order.
North Korean sanctions evasion has largely eviscerated the intent and impact of UN sanctions resolutions designed to block international financial and material support for North Korean nuclear and missile development efforts. Aside from the obvious Chinese loophole, the assassination of Kim Jong Nam has shone a bright light on another major portal for North Korean illicit actions and sanctions evasion: Malaysia.
From a White House largely defined by caprice, there’s been a consistent message that it’s time to get tough on China: to push back in the South China Sea, to challenge China’s unfair trade and investment practices, and to demand more from Beijing on North Korea.
Trump’s tendency to tell lies has not diminished even as he adopts a more presidential tone in his speeches and other communications. Carla Anne Robbins argues that citizens must remain vigilant and willing to point out his untruths.
Speaker: Janine Davidson Speaker: Michèle A. Flournoy Speaker: John M. Paxton Jr. Presider: Thom Shanker
Experts discuss the role of civil-military relations in the development of military advice; evaluate early changes to the national security system under President Trump; and consider possible reforms to the presidential decision-making process.
Shannon K. O’Neil testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, addressing the ongoing crisis in Venezuela and proposing U.S. policy options aimed at combatting the political, economic, social, and humanitarian crises in the country. She called for targeted sanctions against human rights abusers, drug traffickers, and corrupt officials, a concerted effort to rally Venezuela’s South American neighbors in condemning Venezuela’s authoritarianism, and how the United States should prepare to help a new and more receptive Venezuelan government in the future.
In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 2, 2017, Matthew C. Waxman addressed some of the international law questions most relevant to cyber threats and U.S. strategy and made recommendations for U.S. leadership in the evolution of related international rules. Waxman argued that even though international law regarding cyber capabilities is not yet settled, existing rules can support a strong cyber defense strategy. Since many of the international law questions depend on specific, case-by-case facts, and are likely to be highly contested for a long time to come, the United States should continue to advance interpretations that support its strategic interests and effectively constrain other states’ behavior.
The separation of powers has spawned a great deal of debate over the roles of the president and Congress in foreign affairs, as well as over the limits on their respective authorities, explains this Backgrounder.
Authors: Steven A. Cook and Hussein Ibish The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington
Since the ruling Justice and Development Party took power in November 2002, Turkey’s relations with Gulf Arab states have gone through four distinct phases, writes CFR’s Steven A. Cook. Turkey started out as a good neighbor and problem solver before it made a bid for regional leadership, which led to a period of estrangement and then an uneasy rapprochement today.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »